Katherine Louise Myers Penati, a lifelong East Hampton resident and mother of four who had lived on Gardiner Avenue in Springs for the last three years, died at home on Saturday. She was 53, and had been diagnosed with cancer six years ago.
“She loved her community, and they loved her back,” said a sister, Martha Ann (Marti) Myers of East Hampton. “When somebody needed anything, she was always there.”
Ms. Penati enjoyed cooking family dinners and loved to bake. Cheesecakes were a specialty, and in recent years they had been for sale at Lucy’s Whey, an East Hampton shop. She also enjoyed vegetable gardening and walking along the trails at Montauk’s Camp Hero.
Born on April 2, 1958, to James M. Myers and the former Patricia A. Smith, Ms. Penati grew up on Cozzens Lane in Amagansett, one of six children. She graduated from East Hampton High School.
She earned a nursing degree through the Eastern Suffolk Board of Cooperative Educational Services, and worked at Southampton Hospital. She also provided in-home care, and had worked for a time for an oncologist. More recently, she was a real estate broker with Corcoran’s East Hampton branch.
Ms. Penati had been married twice and had three sons and a daughter, all of whom survive and live in East Hampton. They are Marcus James Kouffman, Alex Kouffman, Noah Kouffman, and Gabriella Penati.
“She was the most kindhearted woman,” said Noah Kouffman. His mother had a great sense of compassion, he said, and cared not only for him and his siblings, but all their friends.
“She was our Grace Kelly. She always had style, always had grace,” said a family friend, Jean Cowen of Sag Harbor. Upon learning of her death this week, friends told stories of the ways she had touched their lives.
One posted a clip on Facebook from “King of the Hamptons,” a film shown at the Hamptons International Film Festival last year, in which Ms. Penati was interviewed about what she hoped would be her legacy. Rather than material goods or accomplishments, she hoped she would leave her children memories of who she was, the love she shared, and a sense of humor. Her challenges in life, she said in the interview, had made her a better person.
Ms. Penati’s father and three of her brothers, Michael D. Myers, James M. Myers Jr., and William E. Myers, died before her. Her mother, who lives in Amagansett, survives. She also is survived by a second sister, Mary Myers Lee of New Jersey.
Ms. Penati was cremated. Wakes will take place at the Yardley and Pino Funeral Home in East Hampton tomorrow from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. A service will be held on Monday at 10 a.m. at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in East Hampton, of which she was a member. The Rev. Denis Brunelle will preside.
The family has set up a fund to benefit Ms. Penati’s daughter, Gabriella Penati, who is still a teenager. Donations may be sent to Friends of Gabriella Penati, Bridgehampton National Bank, 8 Gingerbread Lane, East Hampton 11937.